Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and Nottinghamshire’s Assistant Coroner have come together to reinforce the importance of cooking safety, following the inquest of a man who died following an incident on New Year’s Day at his home.
An inquest heard today (19 May) that Mr Oskar Kaczynski, aged 26, died from smoke inhalation following a fire in the kitchen of his home on Astley Drive, St Anns.
Assistant Coroner Miss Amanda Cranny returned a conclusion of accidental death after hearing evidence that Mr Kaczynski had been drinking on New Year’s Eve before returning home in the early hours of the morning and attempting to cook.
The Service was initially called to gain entry to the property shortly after 5pm following concerns raised by neighbours reporting that they had not seen Mr Kaczynski nor had he arrived for work.
Crews from Carlton arrived at the property to find Mr Kaczynski in his living room, which had sustained significant soot damage following the fire, which had self-extinguished.
The court heard that Mr Kaczynski’s kitchen was severely damaged and that the fire is thought to have originated on the gas hob, which was still alight on arrival.
Giving her conclusion, Miss Cranny acknowledged that the most likely scenario leading to Mr Kaczynski’s death was that he had become distracted while cooking.
Miss Cranny, said: “I have to note that Mr Kaczynski was a young man who died too young, and this is very tragic.
“I am satisfied that the cause of the fire was the cooking of potatoes using some form of hot oil on the hob, and this in many ways highlights the dangers of cooking with oil and fat, particularly when people are coming home having perhaps had a reasonable amount of alcohol, which impairs the thought process.
“I would urge anyone to think twice about attempting to cook after consuming alcohol as incidents like this can happen very quickly, and it is very tragic.
“I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Mr Kaczynski, both in the UK and abroad.”
Following the conclusion, NFRS has taken the opportunity to reinforce the importance of keeping an eye on your cooking.
Station Manager Tom Clark, said: “In this case, the fire did not cause significant damage to the whole of the property, but it is by no means any less tragic and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Kaczynski.
“It is always important to make sure that you are keeping an eye on your cooking, especially after drinking or when you are tired.
“This is the second fatal fire that we have had in the space of 12 months which has been cooking related, and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of taking note of the safety advice to ensure that you stay safe from fire in your home.
“The advice that we always give out is that if you have been drinking, it is always best to order a takeaway rather than attempting to cook, because when attention stops, fire starts.”